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Pro Wrestling Illustrated August 2021

Published every other month, the magazine’s mission is to bring our readers right to the ringside with brilliant, high-impact photography and to inform and entertain readers about the Pro Wrestling world. Get Pro Wrestling Illustrated digital magazine subscription today to get unbiased coverage of every major promotion and wrestling news.

United States
Kappa Publishing Group, Inc.
9 Issues

in this issue

3 min
from the desk of …

UNLIKE LAST YEAR’S event, which also spanned two nights, this year’s WrestleMania garnered almost universally favorable reviews. There are several likely reasons for that. For one, rather than taking place in the sterile environs of the Performance Center, this year’s show marked WWE’s long-awaited return to a stadium setting. Even with fewer fans in attendance than usual—and despite night one’s inconvenient rain delay; darn you, Mother Nature—WrestleMania came across far bigger and brighter to fans and pundits watching at home. Why did this year’s ’Mania prove so much less divisive? Well, the presence of fans certainly helped. Even if it wasn’t always the reaction WWE may have liked, the cheers and boos emanating from the 25,000 fans in attendance on each night made the televised event decidedly less awkward than last…

10 min
before the bell

MEDIA REVIEWS WWE ON PEACOCK We were all so much younger and idealistic way back in 2014. Those were the days when Bitcoin traded at under a grand, “pandemic” was just a word in the dictionary, and we believed that the fledgling WWE Network would deliver programming via their independent platform until that fateful hour when CNN finally cued up “Nearer, My God, To Thee.” But it turns out that creating and managing an entire network is pretty complicated. Thank goodness NBC stepped up to ensure the continued existence of the WWE Network by folding the whole shebang into their own streaming service, Peacock TV. Granted, it’s different. Some of the changes are cosmetic, including the main user interface. It’s not better, and it’s not worse. It’s more like a dream where you’re…

11 min

"HAVE WE USHERED a brand-new era in the world of pro wrestling, or have we just opened Pandora’s box?!” Guest commentator Mauro Ranallo posed that pointed question at the end of a very consequential pay-per-view, Rebellion, as Kenny Omega—the champion of AEW, AAA, and now Impact Wrestling—celebrated in the ring with AEW President Tony Khan, Impact Executive Vice President Don Callis, and former Bullet Club running buddies Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows. Meanwhile, an obviously shaken Impact VP Scott D’Amore, like the rest of the industry, absorbed the new reality and tried to process the ramifications. Perhaps Khan and Callis have an idea where this compelling storyline full of real-life interpromotional intrigue is going, but the rest of us aren’t clued in yet. The main event of the April 25 pay-per-view, live…

5 min
quick count

FRIENDS, THE ICONIC sitcom about a group of buds living, working, and dating in New York City, has found new popularity two decades after it aired. In addition to a planned HBO reunion, a Friends-themed museum is set to open this summer in Manhattan. That means New Yorkers will have a better chance of seeing up close the leather pants that Ross once wore before they can see the ones that Seth Rollins still dons. I’m not sure what they’re feeding the smelly cat, but I do know what I’m feeding you: this Friends-inspired edition of Quick Count. HOW YOU DOIN’? I attended WrestleMania this year because I really missed seeing live wrestling. What I didn’t realize until I got there was how much I missed seeing live wrestling fans. More than just keep us…

5 min
the lockup

WRESTLING PROMOTERS ARE generally not a cooperative lot. In fact, the history of the business is strewn with the casualties of promotional wars, petty infighting, and general antipathy. Perhaps that’s why wrestling fans tend to cherish times when competing companies actually play nice with each other—especially because it’s so very rare. And yet, over the past couple of years, All Elite Wrestling has not only been cooperating and cross-promoting, they’ve been making it a major part of their entire strategy—leading to an exciting era of interpromotional activity that fans of major league American pro wrestling almost never get to see. In fact, one could argue it’s pretty unprecedented. This strategy has been the talk of the industry in recent months, but it’s actually nothing new for Tony Khan’s company. Shortly after…

6 min
win lose or draw

FOR A HISTORY assignment during my senior year in high school, I had to research newspaper archives at the local university to find out what happened on the day of my birth: June 22, 1971. In those pre-internet days, I had to feed rolls of microfilm into a PC-looking reader (basically a box with a translucent screen) and advance the dial to find headlines from that particular date. Richard Nixon was the U.S. president, and he met with Frank Fitzsimmons of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, two days after Jimmy Hoffa officially resigned his leadership position while serving time in prison. Both The New York Times and The Washington Post were in a legal dispute with the U.S.government regarding publication of the top-secret “Pentagon Papers,” detailing misdeeds at the highest levels…